By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Area high school basketball observers were intrigued by Winter Favre’s skill set when she entered high school at Lower Cape May Regional as a freshman.
She was the kind of player that didn’t necessarily have one eye-popping skill. Instead, she was one who could do a lot of things well. Score a little. Rebound well for her size. Possess excellent floor vision. Own the ability to defend at multiple positions.
The problem for Favre, however, was that she never got to fully exhibit those skills for much of her career.
After a solid freshman season at Lower, Favre was besieged by injuries. She tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee in the first game of her sophomore season and was forced to miss the remainder of the season. Then, shortly after being medically cleared to play in her junior season, Favre broke a bone in her hand during the preseason and missed the first month of the season.
“So I missed all my sophomore year and half my junior year before this season,” Favre said.
Her senior season, however, was a rousing success. Favre transferred to Wildwood last summer and joined a Lady Warrior program that was profoundly impacted by her presence. Favre helped the Lady Warriors reach the South Jersey Group I title game for the third time in four seasons.
While many of her teammates had tears in their eyes after the 38-32 loss to Woodbury in that sectional title game, Favre, despite eyes as red as a fully bloomed rose, also had a smile on her face. It came through a sense of satisfaction that she was finally able to complete a season without missing a game due to health reasons.
“It (stinks) to have it end, but I’m just happy with the season we had,” Favre said in the locker room following the loss to Woodbury. “No one expected us to have the season we had. To end up here, I’m really proud of the team.”
Favre finished the season having averaged 9.9 points, good for third on the team. She also led the team in rebounding (7.0 per game) and steals (3.2 per game) and was second on the team in assists (2.9 per game). And, at just 5-7, she usually guarded opposing teams’ best interior player, often giving up three to five inches while doing so.
Favre helped Wildwood to a 24-6 finish that also included a share of the Tri-County Classic Division title.
“This was probably my favorite season yet,” Favre said. “Being able to play with everyone, and to have the coaches I had and to be injury free, it was great.
“All along the way, I would have people come up to me and ask, ‘What’s the injury going to be this year?’ or, ‘What’s going to happen now?’ So just to get through it injury free feels great. And then to have such an amazing season, I’m just so happy about it.”
Favre, who finished with 748 career points despite missing approximately 40 games due to the injuries, was named a first team Tri-County Classic Division all-star and a third team state Group I selection this season.
In addition to the tangible statistics she provided Wildwood, Favre also brought leadership and a calming presence to an otherwise young team – Favre and Gabby Keoughan were the lone seniors – despite only being part of the program for one season.
“From Day 1, I felt like I was part of the Wildwood family,” Favre said. “They welcomed me with open arms and I’m grateful for that. I love every single person involved in this program.”
Favre said she plans to attend a military college in the fall, with an eye on a long career in one of the armed forces.
No matter how her future plays out, she’ll be able to recall fond memories of an enjoyable, injury-free senior season.